original post on January 24, 2009; update 5 on February 28, ’09
The lights went up on the 42nd Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho on Wednesday night, February 25, 2009. The theme of this four-day festival is ‘World Rhythms of Jazz.’
And on February 26, on the very day of Herbie Miller’s ‘In Search of the Lost Riddim,’ U.I. was being infected with ‘Island Fever – Grooves from Brazil and the Caribbean.’ Representing the Caribbean on this the second day of the festival was ‘Monty Alexander’s Jazz and Roots,’ which I suspect was Monty’s double-band – one part Straightahead Jazz band, one part Reggae-Jazz band, working it simultaneously. For Brazil, there was Kenny Barron’s Canta Brazil with Trio Da Paz and the Anthony Wilson/Chico Pinheiro Band.
Alexander made a costume change Friday, February 27 for a ‘Sing and Swing/Tribute to Ray Brown.’ On that occasion, Monty led Jeff Hamilton on drums and John Clayton on bass. Also on the bill was Bobby McFerrin, the “Human Being Band” I’d say.
To close out the festival on Saturday, February 28, the cry was “Everybody Dance!’ Up on the dance bandstand was the ‘Lionel Hampton New York Big Band’ playing tribute to the seminal performer for whom the band is named. Hampton was not around in person to man the vibraphone of course so Joe Locke was unleashed on the vibes in his place.
Interspersed with the night-time events were workshops and clinics and Young Artist Concerts.